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Utah jazz bird strike
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Bird strike forces rerouting of Delta flight carrying Utah Jazz players to Memphis

View from KSL Chopper 5 of a charter flight carrying the Utah Jazz landing in Salt Lake City. The plane had just taken off but had hit a bird and had to return. (Photo: KSL Chopper 5)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz basketball team was on a chartered Delta flight that took off Tuesday for Memphis, TN, but turned around and landed again soon after takeoff.

Jazz spokesman Frak Zank said the plane had to land after hitting a bird. KSL Sports’ Jazz Insider Ben Anderson told KSL Newsradio it was a very quick flight.

“The plane took off around 1:15 today [Tuesday] headed towards Memphis where the Jazz will be playing the Grizzlies tomorrow.

“They were climbing to about 85-hundred feet,” Anderson said, “and hit a bird. They had to turn around and return to the Salt Lake Airport.”

Anderson said the flight lasted only about 15 minutes. When they got back on the ground, the players started tweeting.

 Anderson said the team is planning to fly back to Memphis on Tuesday night if they can switch planes.

A Delta spokesman told KSL Newsradio that the airplane landed without incident